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Courses & Resources in African American Studies

  • AAS 1010 - African American History I, 1526-1875

    Examines economic, demographic, social, cultural and political topics in African American history from African origins to the Emancipation era. The evolution of race relations is an important component of this course, but the major emphasis will be placed on the experiences of Black people, the development of rural communities, and the potentiality and challenges facing interracial cooperation, within the framework of larger socio-economic and political processes in U. S. history.

    Credits: 3

    General Education Code: 2SS

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 2100 - Slave Narrative and Freeman/Freewomen Fiction of the 18th and 19th Centuries

    Will cover the African American slave narrative, from the eighteenth to the nineteenth centuries, along with free-woman and free-man writings of the later nineteenth century and possibly the early twentieth century. Readings typically include works by such authors as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, William Wells Brown, and Solomon Northup. The course will consider contemporary debates surrounding the question of authenticity as well as current views of how slave narratives merit aesthetically. The course also interrogates questions pertaining to how the slave narrative challenges conventional notions of autobiography and how the early black novel confronts received and developing notions of the U.S. novel.

    Credits: 3

    General Education Code: 2HL

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 2110 - African American Literature II: Black Writing of the 20th and 21st Centuries

    Focuses on 20th- and 21st-century writings by African American authors with a view toward gaining an understanding of the enormous wealth of literature black writers produced during the periods in question. The course will start with the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Modernist phase, then move on to the Black Arts period, and conclude with contemporary African American literary writing. Typically, the course will read texts by writers including Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, Claude McKay, and Toni Morrison.

    Credits: 3

    General Education Code: 2HL

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 2200 - Introduction to Black Political Economy

    Exploration of theories or political policies and economic processes, their interrelations, and their influence on the socioeconomic character of the black community.

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 2250 - History of the African American Worker

    African-American workers have had a profound effect on U.S. labor and its history. This course will examine the transformation of the African-American working class from the post-Civil War period through the late twentieth-century. African American workers and their community organizations played an integral role in shaping the American working class experience from the maturing industrial period through post-industrial period of U.S. history. We will analyze the changing relationship between capital and labor, employers and employees while evaluating the shifting meanings of ¿owners¿ and ¿workers¿ over time. Through the lenses of race, gender, and sexuality we will also analyze the developments in African American working-class culture and politics.

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 2500 - Blackness and the Arts

    Introduction to the idea of a black art by focusing on a number of different kinds of art practice that enact the idea of race (e.g., film, video, fine art, new media, television, photography, literature). Develop skills in the critical study of black art as a historiographical, cultural, and political craft. Topics are chosen to provide a wide breadth and scope of black visual and expressive culture. The course is interdisciplinary by design and necessity. Encourages a shift of hermeneutics from the black life world to black visual and expressive culture in the terms of blackness. This means repurposing the study of black art in ways other than fidelity to the social category of race and an ethics of positive and negative representation that tacitly encourages the idea of film as cultural policy. Details a commitment to how new paradigms for form and aesthetics, historiography, and intertextuality constitute blackness as the unfinalizable encounter between the idea of race and the idea of art rather than blackness as merely sociology. The approach of this course is primarily that of visual culture and post-structuralist work devoted to difference. In this way, the method is twofold. Firstly, this is an introduction to the idea of race as enacted in the arts and an introduction to critical theory.

    Requisites: Soph or Jr or Sr

    Credits: 3

    General Education Code: 2HL

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 2540 - History of Injustice in the United States

    Designed to give a socio-legal-historical perspective respecting the patterns of injustice in various areas of African American life. American Blacks are, of course, not the only victims of racism/injustice, but in the past they have been - by far - the largest and the most active of the country's minorities and thus the appropriate focus for review of the law and injustice.

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 2900 - Special Topics in African American Studies

    Specific course content will vary with offering.

    Credits: 1 - 15

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be repeated.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 1.0 lecture

  • AAS 3100 - Postmodern Blackness: Identity and Culture in Contemporary African American Literature

    Relying on contemporary literary criticism and theory, this course focuses on Postmodern African American literature of the 1960s and later. Typically concerns writers who emerged as major figures during this period, including such authors as Toni Morrison. Alice Walker, and Ishmael Reed. Attention also given to major literary, theoretical, cultural, and aesthetic developments that developed among black writers, critics, and theorists.

    Requisites: Jr or Sr

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 3110 - Harlem Renaissance: African American Literature of the Early 20th Century

    Focuses on the extraordinary yield of interwar period (c. 1915-1940) African American authors, placing the literary study in the context of political and cultural history. The course will explore such questions as how the renaissance may be seen in terms of modernist aesthetics and transnational culture. Also of interest will be the question of the renaissance and radical politics. The class will consider the Harlem Renaissance, what's more, vis-à-vis the sexual and gender revolution of 1920s. Typically readings will include works like Langston Hughes's The Weary Blues, Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, Claude McKay's Home to Harlem, Alain Locke's The New Negro, Nella Larsen's Passing, and Jean Toomer's Cane, along with criticism on the Harlem Renaissance. Students will write a critically researched paper and be administered essay exams. The aim of the course is to equip the student with a strong academic knowledge of Harlem Renaissance literature in its historical context.

    Requisites: Soph or Jr or Sr

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 3170 - Black Transnational Literature: Caribbean and Transcultural African American Writing

    Covers Caribbean and related African American literary writing, with a view toward understanding the importance of the role of Caribbean literature in Black Diaspora and black transnational cultures. Readings may include works by such authors as C.L.R. James, Jamaica Kincaid, Paule Marshall, and Derek Walcott, a cross-genre sampling of fiction, poetry, and drama. The course will also read relevant post-colonial theory and post-imperialist criticism, including writings by such figures as Paul Gilroy and Stuart Hall.

    Requisites: Soph or Jr or Sr

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 3400 - The African American Community Since World War II

    Explores how, when and why people of African descent use the concept "community" to express those social practices that make group life meaningful. This course focuses on how people of African descent in the United States respond to public policies and create social practices that affect collective efforts to build and sustain everyday life as a social and cultural collective.

    Requisites: Soph or Jr or Sr

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 3410 - African American Personality

    Examination of organization and structure of African American personality within American and African sociopsychological contexts. Special emphasis on various forces that shape African American personality.

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 3450 - The Black Woman

    Examines the complex experience of being a Black woman in America. It addresses such topics as identify, black male-female relations, black feminism, social mobility and activism from a sociohistorical perspective.

    Requisites: Soph or Jr or Sr

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 3460 - Black Men and Masculinities

    Black Men and Masculinities is an interdisciplinary course that examines the diverse experiences of black men and the public discourses about black masculinities primarily in the U.S. The major thrust of the course is to examine how the gendered social order influences black men's actions and the way black men perceive themselves, other men, women, and social situations. We will use an intersectionality perspective to explore the relationships between multiple dimensions of social relations and inequalities: gender, race/ethnicity, class, and sexual orientation. We will also consider how black masculinities are produced in various physical/social sites. This course evaluates the prospects for social change in how black men think, feel, and act. It addresses issues such as: black male socialization and boyhood/guyland culture, the black male body image, black male friendship, black male sexuality and fertility, black men's experiences as fathers and their involvement in volunteer and paid youth work, male aggression and violence, the social construction of masculinities in different historical and cultural contexts, and men's movements and networks.

    Requisites: Soph or Jr or Sr

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 3500 - African American Arts and Artists

    The class is an intensive study of a specific topic/theme of Black visual and expressive culture. The course will be structured around this specific topic/theme to illustrate the methods and traditions of black visual and expressive culture. The content of the course will rotate but always address the relationship between art practice and the idea of race. Such topics might include feminist art, the racial grotesque, Chester Himes and the noir tradition, passing and the black embodiment index, historical consciousness and Civil Rights America, hip-hop modernism, or an analysis of one literary text (Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man or Ishmael Reed's Mumbo Jumbo) and its influence of black visual and expressive culture. The purpose of this class is to promote a rigorous sense of blackness as entailing a negotiation with the necessary, creative tensions between art and distinct modalities of black visual and expressive culture. In other words, this course redraws the lines of influence, appreciation, allusion, causality, reference, and exposition by recognizing the importance of ambiguity over prescription. The approach of the class is most immediately informed by the work of Darby English (How to See a Work of Art in Total Darkness), Kobena Mercer (Annotating Art's Histories series), and Kimberly Benston (Performing Blackness: Enactments of African American Modernism). This body of literature represents a focus on black visual and expressive culture as a critical art informed by the history of African Americans but not utterly reducible to that history. Therefore, the course frames the respective topic or theme as a multi-discursive aesthetic and cultural practice. In this way, the method will be that of visual culture and black studies.

    Requisites: Soph or Jr or Sr

    Credits: 3

    General Education Code: 2HL

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 3520 - Blacks in Contemporary American Cinema

    Explores the representation of African Americans in contemporary American cinema since the 1970s. It also examines the contributions of African Americans on both sides of the camera, as well as various themes conveyed in the films of the period. This class will not only understand film as a text, it will also critique, analyze and investigate the social and political messages within the film text.

    Requisites: AAS 1500

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 3530 - Survey of Black Independent Cinema

    Black Independent Cinema is a course about seeing. Many look but few see. We will build a consciousness of the Africana experience in independent filmmaking with particular emphasis on independent filmmakers from the United States. This aim will be achieved by examining the body of work produced by independent filmmakers from the early 1900s up until present day. In addition to the study of the film diegesis, this course will explore aesthetic and theoretical issues relative to the development of an independent Black cinema. Black cinema describes a specific body of films produced in the African Diaspora which shares a common problematic (Yearwood, 2000, p5). Further this course will examine the social dynamics at work during the various stages of Black independent cinema, which has served as a counter to Hollywood's limited portrayal of the Africana experience. This class is guided by interactive discussion and analysis of films screened.

    Requisites: AAS 1500

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 3550 - History of African American Music I, Slavery-1926

    Sociohistorical examination of African American music and its role in shaping American music. Recordings and guest lecturers used as integral part of course. Examines spirituals, rural and urban blues, ragtime, and early jazz.

    Requisites: One course in Tier II Fine Arts or Humanities

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 3560 - History of African American Music II, 1926-Present

    Sociohistorical analysis of African American music and its role in shaping modern American music. Recordings and guest musician/lecturers used as integral part of course. Examines big-band era, urban blues, bebop, rhythm and blues, hard bop, black classical composers, avantgarde musical performances, and hip-hop

    Requisites: One course in Tier II Fine Arts or Humanities

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 3570 - Black Music Criticism: Hiphop history, culture and politics

    Designed to engage scholars in a process of discovering and developing critical analytical skills within the context of Hip-hop history, culture, and politics. This course will explore Hip-hop culture as a manifestation of Africana visual, performance and oral traditions. It will explore Africana cultural practices that have given rise to the numerous manifestations of Hip-hop over its thirty-plus year history in the United States and abroad. Hip-hop has affected/infected all facets of popular culture from the classroom to the corporate boardroom. This course examines the development, contradictions and various representations of Hip-hop culture. This course is designed to increase students' depth of knowledge of Hip-hop within the context of Africana cultural practices, the history and various positions about what Hip-hop is/is not and provide opportunities for dialogue and further study. Toward accomplishing the goal of investigating Hip-hop history, culture, and politics, film, various media texts and possibly guest lecturers will be used to facilitate this learning experience. Scholars will be expected to submit papers, complete oral reports, and participate in class projects for successful completion of this course.

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 3640 - Comparative Study of Injustice

    Will take a look at different approaches to civil and human rights in selected developed and developing countries. There will also be a review of theory of justice and political consequences in chosen countries. A substantial part of the fourteen week semester will be used to examine the injustices of the past apartheid system of South African and comparing it to the struggle to end Jim Crow segregation in the United States. In addition, the Armenian genocide, the Rwandan genocide, and the Republic of the Congo genocide will be briefly reviewed and comparisons made. The course will also take a look at the attempts of ethnic cleansing in a number of different parts of the world. Our first review will start in our backyard with a look at how the Native Americans in the U.S. were subjected to a sophisticated genocide perpetrated by the U.S. government and the people of America. Racial injustices suffered by people of color in the United States are interconnected with injustices perpetrated on other people of color throughout the world.

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 3680 - African American Political Thought

    This course examines the basic tenets of Black political thought and intellectual history in the United States from 1830 to 2000. This course investigates the influences of political thinkers of African descent who shaped several social and political movements and theories, including Progressivism, liberalism, Marxism, Black Nationalism, feminism & womanism, existentialism, and anti-colonialism.

    Requisites: AAS 2020

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 3691 - U.S. Constitutional Law: Pre-Civil Rights Movements

    While learning the basic principles of Constitutional Law and legal reasoning, students taking this course will also learn the critical role law plays in correcting social injustices in our society, the significance of precedents and stare decisis in a common law system; and how to distinguish cases that have similar factual bases but different judicial holdings. The course is also intended to help students develop a sharpened sense of civic responsibility, especially in relation to issues of equality and justice.

    Requisites: Jr or Sr

    Credits: 3

    General Education Code: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 3800 - African American Education

    Some scholars, educators and parents suggest the educational system in the United States, is designed to prepare individuals for access and inclusion into this society and also to intelligently participate in a democratic republic. Others have suggested the educational system is means of social control, both a passive and active way of maintaining the structural hegemony of inequality already present. Whatever the case may be, the debate of how to best empower and educate Africana people has been active since before 1865. This seminar will provide an overview of this discussion as well as some of the major factors contributing to the topic. Seminar in African American Education explores, critiques and examines the journey of African descendants in the United States in their quest for education. This course will examine two major historical features of this experience, how Africana people have sought to educate themselves and how the larger culture has attempted to educate them. Within this examination this course will attempt to explore both positions advanced by scholars, educators and parents as well as other developments in the field of education relating to Africana people.

    Requisites: 6 Hours Tier II Social Sciences or Education

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 4110 - Literature Seminar: Black Countercultures

    Focuses on a current critical trend in African American literary studies. Students will have the opportunity to apply critical theory and criticism to, for example, black modernist, postmodernist, and/or transnational literature. Typically readings will include works by such as authors as Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, Amiri Baraka, Audre Lorde, and/or Toni Morrison. The student will write a critical research paper and be administered essay exams. The aim of the course is to familiarize the student with contemporary approaches and issues in black literary studies.

    Requisites: AAS 1100 and 2100

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 4300 - Social Theory, Research and Methodology in African American Studies

    This course will introduce students to the methods and techniques of scholarly research and writing. The course will examine the basic tenets of Africana Studies social theories, research methods, and intellectual inquiry. The foundation of course will begin with an appreciation and understanding of the history, culture, philosophy and worldview of the lived experiences of peoples of African descent. The thematic concerns of the course will focus on social theory and research methods in the field of Africana Studies. The course will survey and investigate the influences of various theoretical perspectives and methodological concerns and determine their intellectual uses and application , as well as discuss some of the criticisms of these methods, particularly as they relate to contemporary thinking about local, national, and international Black experiences.

    Requisites: AAS 1060 and (1010 or 2020) and (Jr or Sr)

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 4400 - The Black Child

    What does it mean to be a black child in America at the beginning of the 21st century? We will consider how the meaning of childhood changes over time, place, and social context for African Americans. By moving children to the center of focus, we will see that there is no singular definition of African American childhood, but instead many different ways in which African Americans experience childhood and adolescence. Typically African American children are only studied as victims or perpetrators of social problems, but in this course we will consider African American children in many additional contexts. We will begin by examining the meaning(s) of childhood and adolescence and how they have changed over time. Throughout the course we will see how African American children's lives are shaped by broader systems of inequality. We will also examine how African American children are active in the construction of their own peer cultures and popular culture, as well as why the relationship between Black youth and popular culture is routinely viewed as problematic, and how African American children are discussed within the popular press. Finally, we will examine how public policies shaping African Americans children and adolescents' lives are formulated and how they sometimes serve to replicate various inequalities.

    Requisites: Soph or Jr or Sr

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 4693 - Legal Policy and Disparities in the American Health Care System

    Intended to examine the disparities in health care experienced by women, children, the elderly, Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, Appalachians, and the poor in the American health care system, in the spirit of open, scholarly inquiry. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most inhumane. He worked to raise awareness about public health concerns, particularly relating to issues that disproportionately affect minorities, people of color, and low-income communities.

    Requisites: Jr or Sr

    Credits: 3

    General Education Code: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 4820 - The Black Family

    Focusing on the history of ideas and approaches that have shaped and defined our understanding of Black families. This course offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of African American social and family life. You will be introduced to historical and socio-cultural circumstances that affect the Black family and the diverse nature of Black culture. The purpose of this course is to focus on the Black family as a social institution. You will understand and appreciate the strengths of the Black family by being expose to a variety of challenges they face. This course will also attempt to heighten awareness and sensitivity to the contemporary problems affecting the Black family and thus help discover and evaluate social policies and programs geared towards Black families. Specifically, the course will provide a sociological perspective for understanding and analyzing topics and challenges that impact the Black family. The discussion is also designed to encourage and stimulate critical thinking beyond "common sense" interpretations of the Black family.

    Requisites: Soph or Jr or Sr

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 4900 - Special Topics in African American Studies

    Specific course content will vary with offering.

    Credits: 1 - 15

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be repeated.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 1.0 lecture

  • AAS 4930 - Independent Study

    Primarily for students interested in concentrated study in specific area in cooperation with advisor.

    Requisites: Permission required

    Credits: 3 - 9

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be repeated for a maximum of 9.0 hours.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 independent study

  • POLS 4751 - Critical Race Theory

    Examines, analyzes, and theorizes race and racism from a critical and politicized perspective. This rich theorectical perspective points out that racism is still a pervasive part of contemporary societies, and seeks out effective ways to challenge racism's existence and impact on various groups and societies. Examines Critical Race Theory as a theoretical and political alternative for understanding and criticizing racism in contemporary settings. Critical Race Theory critiques perspectives that claim far-reaching progress has been made combating racism. Challenges students to think in new ways about contemporary manifestations of racism. Explores innovative ways to challenge the widespread prevalence of racism.

    Requisites: 6 Hours in AAS or 6 hours in POLS or 6 hours in WGS

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • POLS 4752 - The Politics of Intersectionality

    Examines the emergence and prevalence of 'intersectionality' as a theoretical framework, political practice, and terrain of lived experience. Intersectionality signifies the simultaneity of identities and is commonly considered a robust approach to examining complicated, lived experiences. Intersectionality illuminates how multiple forms of disempowerment intersect and interact with one another, and captures the ways such intersections lead to deeper and more complex forms of subordination. Examines how a person who suffers from racism, poverty, and sexism has a much different lived experience than a person who may experience racist oppression, but whose sex and class status are privileged according to societal norms and expectations.

    Requisites: 6 Hours in AAS or 6 hours in POLS or 6 hours in WGS

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • POLS 4753 - American Whiteness

    Engages Critical Race Theory and Critical White Studies in order to better understand how 'whiteness' perpetuates itself and racism as well. Critically examines the concept of whiteness, and what it has meant to the (white) public over time. To what extent is being white a biological, ideological, psychological, or political phenomenon? Introduces theories of whiteness as a legal construction, as a privileged status, and as a dynamic social identity. Aids understanding the political meaning of whiteness by examining the relationship of whiteness to American citizenship, immigrants' motivations to assimilate into whiteness, and by learning how politicians and governmental bodies have protected the interests of white Americans by inscribing white privilege into public policies. Investigates white American public opinion on political issues, their attitudes about people of color, as well as what they think about their own racial group and racial identity. Discusses the normative quality of white racial identity, and how colorblind ideology makes it difficult to see and understand whiteness as power and privilege. Examines the contexts in which whiteness is made visible, and how awareness of white racial identity can be cultivated.

    Requisites: 6 Hours in AAS or 6 hours in POLS or 6 hours in WGS

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • POLS 4754 - Black Political Thought

    Surveys various ideological traditions that have inspired the political visions and agendas of Black Americans. Though white supremacy has negatively affected the lives of Black Americans for centuries, the response to racial oppression has been far from monolithic. In challenging white hegemony and racial oppression, Black thinkers have addressed the contradictions inherent in the joint projects of egalitarianism and racial hierarchy. Some of the greatest contributions to American political thought emerged from competing ideological frameworks, such as the debate over accommodation versus full and immediate racial integration, nonviolence versus self-defense, and socialism versus capitalist entrepreneurship, just to name a handful of contests. In envisioning an optimal racial environment, generations of activists have inserted their concerns over other related social arrangements such as sexism, classism and heterosexism, and have consequently pushed Black and non-Black Americans alike to imagine their ideal political conditions.

    Requisites: 6 Hours in AAS or 6 hours in POLS or 6 hours in WGS

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • POLS 4755 - Latinos and Politics

    Explores the histories and contemporary politics of the diverse and expanding Latino population. Focuses on people of Mexican, Puerto Rican and Cuban descent, but incorporates other groups where information is available. Covers how patterns of immigration and resources shape the foundation for Latinos' political incorporation and mobilization within the United States. Examines the political needs and goals of various Latino sub-groups by studying public opinion, voting patterns and non-electoral behavior, and will assess the extent to which these groups are able to achieve their visions. Reflects upon the unity and tension within this group. Assesses whether Latinos have a set of political attitudes and behaviors that distinguish them from other racial groups.

    Requisites: 6 Hours in AAS or 6 hours in POLS or 6 hours in WGS

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • POLS 4756 - The Politics of Visibility

    Vision and visibility are key organizing features of political inquiry, responsibility, governability, and contestation. Particularly in a contemporary setting inundated with technologies for seeing and rendering a wide variety of subjects and phenomena visible, power and visibility have become intrinsically interconnected. Studies the various manifestations of vision, visibility, and invisibility. Racialized politics of visibility especially emphasized, along with the multifaceted ways that visible identities more generally render some bodies and subjects more susceptible to political surveillance, social control, and discrimination.

    Requisites: 6 Hours in AAS or 6 hours in POLS or 6 hours in WGS

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • POLS 4757 - Race, Violence and Human Security

    There are few issues in contemporary politics more important than human security. There are also few forms of oppression and discrimination more important than racism. Yet, envisioning and seeing the various ways that racism leads to vast and deep human insecurity have generally been neglected as political problems and inquiries. Addresses racism and racial violence as human security issues, encouraging students to search out creative ways to reduce the varied hostile environments that emerge from racist forces.

    Requisites: 6 Hours in AAS or 6 hours in POLS or 6 hours in WGS

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • POLS 4758 - Race and Public Policy in Comparative Perspective

    Seeks to conceptualize, explore and explain the complex relationships between race and the creation, implementation and evaluation of public policy. First half offers overview of some dominant theories of public policy, including rational actor models, institutionalism, policy framing and agenda-setting, causal stories, and policy networks. Second, applies these theories in order to complete a more in-depth examination of policy areas that have either implicitly or explicitly institutionalized racial difference and/or disadvantage. Focus will be comparative; though substantial examples drawn from the United States and the industrialized world, also draws insights from developing contexts as necessary.

    Requisites: 6 Hours in AAS or 6 hours in POLS or 6 hours in WGS

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • POLS 4759 - Interracial Transgressions

    Explores multiple arenas of interracial transgressions. Explores the complexities of interracial transgressions by analyzing the role of politics, law, policy, literature, film, geopolitics and vernacular discourse in the construction of interracial relationships, transracial contact zones and multiracial identities. Drawing from case studies in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, South Africa, Australia and Brazil, examines a wide variety of issues related to the construction of mixed-race as a social identity and mode of racial classification, and the potential for racial transgressions in areas of sex, love, friendship, media, dance, music and geography, paying particular attention to the complex relationships among race, gender, class, and sexuality.

    Requisites: 6 Hours in AAS or 6 hours in POLS or 6 hours in WGS

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • POLS 4765 - Diaspora, Transnationalism and Post-Colonialism

    This course introduces students to the theories, concepts and applications of the field of post-colonial, transnational and diaspora studies. As post-colonial studies is a wide field, we are engaged here in acquiring a working knowledge of its major ideas, conceptual platforms and methods of inquiry that are the bases of post-colonial studies. We will be examining some of the key themes in post-colonial studies, as well as reading some of the foundational texts on which the field of post-colonial studies is grounded. The varied and multi-disciplinary fields of study that form our theoretical framework are founded on three premises: a) that whilst the era of formal colonialism is over, the social institutions, cultural practices and ideological formations produced by colonialism and other forms of oppression have left their legacy in the contemporary world; b) that mainstream ways of thought, interpretation and action have been informed and continue to be permeated by dominant conceptions from the West; and c) that race is a transnational phenomenon, tied to and imbued with the power of modernity. These foundations provide some identifiable common denominators: a willingness to challenge the hegemonic assumptions of the West; a moral imperative to understand history and society from the point of view of those it has least benefited and who have been marginalized and even oppressed; an understanding that the current world system is the result of a world-historical racial project; and as a result, a theoretical commitment to developing new, more inclusive and more progressive ways of thinking and analyzing social, economical, political and historical forces that critically interrogate Western hegemonic forms of knowledge. Post-colonialism therefore includes studies of the formal colonial period and its aftermath. We are here mostly concerned with ¿late colonialism,¿ and the majority of this course will focus, although not exclusively, on the British colonial empire. This course is highly theoretical and interdisciplinary. Material will be chosen from a wide variety of geographical areas and from post-colonial thinkers from different disciplines.

    Requisites: 6 Hours in AAS or 6 hours in POLS or 6 hours in WGS

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • T3 4040 - Reconstructing Roman Slavery

    What was it like to be a slave in the Roman world? No first hand account describing slavery which was written by a slave has survived. To understand what a slave's life was like we are forced to reconstruct slavery from the materials that do survive. These include: descriptions of slavery and slaves by the slave owners; literature which features characters who are slaves; archaeological remains which illustrate the conditions of slavery. An important concern will be the special demands made in the reading and interpretation of texts that are over two-thousand years old. Finally, the experience of African-American slaves in the 18th and 19th centuries, a period more richly documented than the Roman, helps us to imagine much more about the Roman institution than what we could infer from the ancient sources alone.

    Requisites: 8 Hours in (AAS or ANTH or CLAS or HIST) and Sr only

    Credits: 3

    General Education Code: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • T3 4400 - Seminar in Wealth and Poverty

    The aim of the course is to provide students with an appreciation of the ways in which the intersectionality of class, race, ethnicity and gender shape inequality of economic and social opportunities. The course draws on readings from Geography, Sociology, Economics, Literature, Women and Gender Studies and other disciplines. It begins with an investigation of systems of power and inequality with specific attention to race and racism and gender and sexism and their intersectionality with other forms of difference. The structure of social institutions and their influence in everyday life that produces wealth and inequality will also be examined. The relationship between population and environment will be examined through a gendered and economic lens. The economic and social-political dimensions of global inequality will be highlighted through case studies. The course will wrap up with an analysis of a recent biography and novel that will be carefully selected to allow students to synthesize information covered in the course. The course will integrate class meetings with related activities on campus, and wrap up with a wealth and poverty research expo open to OU faculty and students.

    Requisites: (AAS 1060 or GEOG 1310 or HIST 1330 or POLS 2300 or SOC 2300 or SW 1000) and Sr only

    Credits: 3

    General Education Code: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 seminar

  • AAS 2020 - African American History II, 1876 to late twentieth century

    Examines a series of topics¿economic, demographic, social, cultural and political¿in African American history from 1876 to the late twentieth century. The evolution of race relations is an important component of this course, but the major emphasis will be placed on the internal experiences of ordinary African Americans, within the framework of larger socioeconomic and political processes in U. S. history. In addition to providing topical perspectives (e.g., work, family, and religion), the course will pay close attention to chronology and change over time.

    Credits: 3

    General Education Code: 2SS

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 1900 - Difficult Dialogues: Race, Law, and Religion in America

    Intended to help create a campus environment where sensitive subjects can be discussed in a spirit of open, scholarly inquiry and intellectual rigor and with respect for different viewpoints. (Ford Foundation Difficult Dialogues RFP, 2005 at: http://www.fordfound.org/news/more/dialogues/index.cfm?print-ver) Students in this problem-based discussion and writing course will examine race in America through the lenses of law and religion. Working on teams and using a variety of resources, students will investigate five issues spanning from the founding of the country to present day New Orleans. Analyzing past and present historical events, students will gain insights into both the progressive and repressive roles that law and religion can play in creating and resolving difficult human problems. Students who take this class will become "bridge-builders" in their communities; people who bridge the gulf between groups that sometimes perceive themselves as being divided, when they have far more in common than that which may be the subject of a "difficult dialogue."

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 1500 - Africana Media Studies

    Africana Media Studies is an introduction to the Africana experience (primarily in the U.S) through media. This course is designed to enable scholars the opportunity to explore, critique and understand images, stereotypes, myths and counter-imaging of the Africana experience. Contemporary as well as historic notions of race, class and gender through the prism of media will be examined. In the exploration of these various themes attention will be paid to the social, political, and economic contexts that have shaped the media. The media includes, though not limited to radio, television, film, newspapers and the internet. This course will attempt to include all aspects of the media to facilitate the examination of the Africana experience. However primary attention will be given to television, film and radio. The course will follow a loose chronological approach from early media to contemporary media. While the primary focus is on Africana media it does not preclude discourse on other related media studies issues, it is however the emphasis for this course.

    Credits: 4

    General Education Code: 2HL

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 4.0 lecture, 3.0 discussion

  • AAS 1100 - Introduction to African American Literature

    Focuses broadly on African American literature from work of the 18th century to contemporary writings with the intention of providing the student with an introduction to the topic. Reading poetry, short fiction, the novel, and other forms of writing, the course will explore such questions as how black writers address African American literary inheritance and production. A final paper will afford the student the occasion of applying a critical approach to literary texts. Topics may include slave and freeman and free woman narratives, the Harlem Renaissance, and the postmodern black novel. The aim of the course is to equip the student with a strong academic knowledge of African American literature in its cultural and historical contexts.

    Credits: 3

    General Education Code: 2HL

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • AAS 1060 - Introduction to African American Studies

    Unlike most established disciplines, there is to be a lack of consensus among Africana Studies scholars as to what exactly is African American/Afro-American/Africana/Pan African/Black Studies, and/or what constitutes the nature and scope of the discipline. The National Council for Black Studies, the leading organization of Black Studies professionals in the world, defines it as a discipline that investigates African peoples' experiences from the perspective of their interests, aspirations, possibilities, and envisioned destinies. Experiences that range from the earliest human civilizations to the tragic era of enslavement, colonization, forced migration, displacement and the reconstruction of African peoples humanity and life ways. This introductory course investigates the foundation, nature, scope, and structure of African American/Africana Studies in American Universities. The course will basically explore various descriptions, definitions, and meanings of the discipline/field, as well as approaches to understanding its interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, and trans-disciplinary nature; survey major disciplinary literature written about it, and the perspectives advanced by scholars. The course also critiques and systematically outlines essential components of and/or arguments advanced about, for, or against the discipline. Finally, a comparative exploration of the interrelationship between African American/Africana Studies, Area Studies, and Ethnic Studies, as well as some emerging intellectual developments in Africana Studies research, teaching, and service activities will help guide us later into the semester as we engage in our focused discussions and discoveries of a satisfactory definition of the discipline, and an operational description of its basics and essentials.

    Credits: 3

    Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.

    Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture

  • College of Arts & Sciences